In our afternoon reading: thoughts on the new Sleater-Kinney album, Alex Segura on craft, and more.
Where Art, Life, and Simulations Meet: A Review of Shane Jones’s “Vincent and Alice and Alice”
Vincent is just a guy, who has “just an office job” working for “the State” in the fictional town of A-ville. He used to be a painter, until “the shame of not selling paintings [made him] give up.” Unlike his namesake, he doesn’t sever his ear in the depths of despair; he enrolls in the experimental “PER” program offered by the bureaucratic Leader Dorian Blood, designed to increase worker happiness and productivity. The program requires a total devotion to data-entry, and dictates Vincent’s routine even outside of his 9-5 work, but it simultaneously walks him through his “ideal gate.” Once through his ideal gate, he carries out the same perfected routine, but feels in every way as though he is living his deepest subconscious fantasy. For most workers, this fantasy expresses itself as the material gain that we conflate with corporate success: a nicer car, a house with a pool, time to do and be nothing. For Vincent, this fantasy turns out to be exactly the same as his reality, except it includes his ex-wife Alice, an activist who left Vincent once the grayness of his work seeped out into the rest of his life.
Weekend Bites: Courtney Maum, Yvonne Turner Revisited, Shane Jones’s Latest, William Boyle Interviewed, and More
In our weekend reading: nonfiction by Courtney Maum, an interview with William Boyle, and more.
Morning Bites: Juliet Grames, Locus Awards Finalists, Octavia E. Butler, Shane Jones Fiction, and More
In our morning reading: thoughts on Juliet Grames’s new novel, exploring the latest album from Vampire Weekend, and much more.
Afternoon Bites: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Karolina Waclawiak Interviewed, Joy Williams, Talking César Aira, and More
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Karolina Waclawiak, new poetry from Natalie Eilbert, and more.
Afternoon Bites: Louise Glück, Ben Lerner, Nina McConigley Interviewed, New Wendy C. Ortiz Writing, The Gotobeds, and More
Poetry from Louise Glück, a profile of Ben Lerner, new writing from Brian Evenson and Wendy C. Ortiz, interviews with Shane Jones and Nina McConigley, and more.
Morning Bites: Shane Jones, Anders Nilsen Vs. Amazon, United Nations, Man Forever Interviewed, and More
Talking with Shane Jones, interviews with Man Forever and United Nations, recommended writing from Africa, comics against Amazon, and more.
Morning Bites: Stuart Dybek, Moby-Dick Marathon NYC Returns, Jonathan Wilson on the World Cup, Shane Jones on “Crystal Eaters,” and More
Queen Margot on film, Shane Jones interviewed, the Moby-Dick Marathon NYC’s fundraiser, thoughts on Stuart Dybek and How to Dress Well, and more.